Gramps, Mac and I had gone out for a special ordinary dinner. You know the kind, where you celebrate nothing more than being together on a Tuesday. It’s special because you are together and ordinary because it’s a regular ordinary day. Afterwards, I reminded Mac to thank Gramps for taking us to dinner. He asked why he should thank Gramps “when he was happy to go to dinner with us”.
I never heard this reasoning before but knew we needed to stop right then and there to discuss the concept of gratitude. Children, of course, need to be taught the idea and the performance of “thanks”. They come into this world at the center of their own universe and naturally expect everything and everyone to do for them. The seed of gratitude must be planted by someone.
Every person has to tell every child that he must be thankful for every compliment and kindness done for him. Anyone who goes out of their way to improve a life in any way must be recognized in some manner. Gratitude and gratitude that is acted upon, is not optional. It is imperative, it is required.
Children do not instinctually know this. They have to be taught and reminded – often. I give a verbal nudge to my grandchildren every time. Every time someone compliments them or gives them a gift or does them a favor or does them any kindness at all.
Repetition is a great teacher, as is a good example. So I have to say “thank you” and show “thank you” whenever appropriate also. That way the little ones are surrounded by thankfulness and thoughtfulness.
How much fun is a pouffy, fluffy tutu! You can spin, twirl, dance, leap and sing in a tutu. It brings out all the make believe fairies and pretend princesses hidden within. Tutus are beautiful and magical and special. Nothing forces oohs and aahs from little girls like a tutu.
To make one: cut a 2″ wide ribbon the length of the child’s waist plus enough to make a bow (about 30″). Tie a double knot 15″ in from each end.
Decide how long you want the tutu to be (mine is 12″) and cut 6″ wide tulle into lengths twice that long i.e.. 24″ for mine. Then fold the tulle and tie over the ribbon. Do this from knot to knot until the area is full. Voila! You have a tie-on tutu!
He heard a noise that rocked the floor.
He heard a noise that shook the door
Jack heard . . . a SNORE!
Just who is making such a racket? Unable to sleep, Jack and his dog go searching. It must be Mama Gwyn, whose huffs and puffs set her curlers spinning, but when Jack wakes her up . . . the snore ROARS on!
This fun-loving rhyming tale of a sleepless night will cause many giggles, as well as rousing kids to chime in at the refrains. An amusing must-have book for every family, because, well, everyone snores. (Yes, even you!)
While on our way to the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Gramps and I stopped to visit cousins in Dubuque, Iowa. It’s a wonderful town on the Mississippi River, bordering Wisconsin and Illinois. The weather was perfect and one evening we took snacks and a bottle of wine to a music concert at the arboretum.
The evening was cool (in July!), the grass was covered with blankets and lawn chairs and the air was filled with the singing voices of young people from all over Wisconsin. We sipped our favorite wine from handmade glasses and shared a wonderful occasion with some of our favorite relatives. The whole time we were surrounded by flowers, trees and bushes of magnificent beauty. Could we have had a more perfect time?
Oh, and in the midst of this idyllic scene I saw a young woman carrying a small furry animal. It wasn’t a cat or a dog. It was . . . well, it was a wombat. That’s right , a wombat. A baby wombat in the arboretum in Dubuque, Iowa!
It was all snuggled up in a blanket and seemed as mesmerized by the stunning singing voices as we were. But really, a wild animal in a crowded group of people just didn’t seem normal to me. No one else seemed bothered, just me.
At the end of the program, we all showed our immense appreciation, finished off the last of the wine, gathered our belongings and headed home. What a splendid evening we all had.
I think the wombat had a good time too!